“Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1, NIV).
We all know the affections of our own heart. These affections focus upon people, places and things that move and direct our hearts with fond regard and emotion. Our spouses and families are deeply loved and our friends are connected at various levels of affections. We at times chose these affections and we at times will never know why we like and love certain rich or delicate foods, certain panoramic scenes or things that we collect or value throughout the course of our living.
In a darker and more foreboding sense, we know that our affections can sometimes drift or be swayed by the affections of our heart into things that would cause us to sin or even courses of lifestyle or actions that are not holy or healthy.
We all know the things that capture, motivate and hold the passions of our attentive mind and focus. From our views on subjects as vastly different as politics and culture, we all have areas of interest and desires where we find our attentions focused. At times if we are completely honest in our self-awareness, we may even find alarming the direction our minds might be enticed and tempted by sin.
Much of the time, as pilgrims on this vast and varied earth, that we both physically and emotionally travel upon and through … we know the familiar places where our affections and attentions like to stop and visit. Faith enters these realms of affections and attentions but many times it has to compete with our focus in what is seen, attended to or felt in our hearts.
Yet our faith in Christ, is always in a tension as it demands our leaving the old affections and attentions that we see, think and feel behind … as we are reborn to continually place our heart and mind in and upon the Christ who is now our Lord and Master. It is in the intentional and consistent releasing of the old and the natural affections and attentions around and within us that we change our lives. This change of the will allows the continual rebirth of those affections and attentions to be lovingly and thoughtfully placed upon things that are above. These things, which are above, come from Christ and they bring the abundant and eternal life He both promises and delivers.
“Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things, for you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2, NIV).
Suggested Reading … Colossians 3